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Get the whole family close to nature this summer in the Whiteface Region! With family-friendly attractions that are fun and easily accessible, the Whiteface Region must be added to your summer bucket list! Whether your family is looking for action-packed adventures or Adirondack-inspired zen, you’ve come to the right place.

Five ideas for active, adventurous fun

1. Mountain biking

Mountain biking in Wilmington, NY has a perfect variety of trails to choose from. New to riding? We’ve got great beginner-friendly trails awaiting your arrival. Our more seasoned riders are in luck with plenty of trails ready to test your skills and your legs (and lungs). Our mountain bike pump park, home base for the family-friendly Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, is the ultimate playground for riders of every age and skill level. Want a little downhill action? (And by a little, I mean a lot.) Poor Man’s Downhill is the ultimate descent in town. Get shuttled to the top of PMD, or climb it yourself if you are feeling extra spicy! A note of safety: Poor Man’s Downhill is not for beginner riders. For the highest level of stoke, please ride within your ability level!

2. Road biking

While my cycling-loving soul could write about all day about routes from Wilmington that explore other sections of the Adirondacks, families with younger children or less experienced riders would do well to keep road biking within the Whiteface Region to avoid the big climbs in and out of town. Fortunately, there are plenty of road biking destinations right where you are! I was a food-motivated child, and anything that included the promise of a snack, a drink, or ice cream would get me to happily engage in just about any activity. Bike to Everest Park (which gets its own moment to shine in our list of leisure activities, mentioned below) to enjoy some fun in the sun before pedaling back into town for some ice cream, a root beer float, or some chocolate!

Three cyclists ride across a bridge over a river with mountains in the background.

3. Hiking

Hiking is synonymous with the Adirondacks, and the Whiteface Region is no different. But don’t succumb to “peaks pressure” and feel like hiking Whiteface Mountain, the fifth highest peak in the Adirondacks, is your only option! The region is home to easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes to suit every ability and experience level! For your own enjoyment and safety, find your hiking challenge that is right for you and your family! And don’t forget to brush up on your seven Leave No Trace principles before you go!

A mom poses with her two young sons for a selfie at the peak of a mountain.

4. Paddling

Visitors to the Whiteface Region will be blown away by the scenic mountain views and pristine water. Get closer to nature by grabbing your kayak, stand up paddle board, or canoe and go for a paddle on one of the region’s tranquil bodies of water. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for the loons!

Safety first — be sure to wear your life jacket, fully zipped up and pulled nice and tight!

A young lady kayaks alongside a young man paddling on a stand-up paddle board.

5. Wonders of Wilmington challenges

The Wonders of Wilmington challenges are packed with great outdoor adventures for every age and ability level! The challenges are filled with different hiking options, family-friendly activities with most trails under half a mile in distance, and even mountain biking. One of the most unique hikes is to Silver Lake Bog and Bluffs, and it is a 2-mile round trip hike. Each challenge can be done at a leisurely pace and provides rewarding, Adirondack views. Complete the challenges and earn yourself a patch!

A mother hikes through the woods while carrying her son in a baby carrier backpack

Five ideas for a laid-back, leisurely stay:

1. Camping

A crackling fire, roasting marshmallows, and sleeping under the stars; that is what camping is all about. The Whiteface Region has great spots for you and your family to try this summer! From tents to lean-tos and RVs to van life, your trip to Whiteface won’t be complete without a night of sleeping in the great outdoors!

Two parents and their young kids roast marshmallows over a fire while sitting on Adirondack chairs in the woods.

2. Take a drive up the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway

Up for checking out the view from the top of a High Peak without having to take hours out of your day to make the hike? You’re in luck! The summit of Whiteface Mountain is a car ride away! You and your family can enjoy breathtaking views as you drive along the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway. The parking lot is located just below the summit, so you get to do a little hiking to reach the best views. A staircase provides an easy-to-follow path to the tip top. Believe me — the views are worth every step! Check the website for the most up-to-date information, including conditions and fees for each car and passenger! Speaking of driving up the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway…

Cars park along the side of the Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway as visitors look out upon a view of the Adirondack Mountains.

3. Stop at Santa's Workshop at the North Pole during your drive up Whiteface

That’s right! Santa’s Workshop is open and ready for your arrival this summer!

As you head up the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway, you will see the blissfully happy sign to let you know that you are almost there! Enjoy visiting Santa’s post office, rides perfectly designed with Santa’s young visitors in mind, helping Santa’s elves make some toys, meet real, live reindeer, and — of course — Santa himself! Located before the toll booth along the highway, families can visit Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole and back into town without paying any toll fees! 

A young girl feeds a leaf to a reindeer at Santa's Workshop.

4. High Falls Gorge

There’s waterfalls, and there’s Adirondack waterfalls. That said, High Falls Gorge is waterfall royalty. Enjoy a stunning walk through this slice of paradise and take in the wonder High Falls Gorge has to offer. You can spend anywhere from thirty minutes to half the day looking at the sites, learning from educational signs posted throughout the property, and taking photos. When you’ve had your fill (if that’s even possible), stop at the gift shop or grab a bite at the River View Cafe. Check High Fall Gorge’s website for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices.

A family with two young kids poses in front of a waterfall at High Falls Gorge.

5. Everest Park

Ah, one of my personal favorite gems in Wilmington: Everest Park. Located on Lake Everest, this is the perfect place for you and your family to grill out and chill out. Play a game of volleyball, go for a swim or a paddle on the water, or bring some food and charcoal to grill at one of the available outdoor grills and eat as the sun sets and the lights come on. 

A scenic shot of a calm lake with a playground and a wooden hut on the sandy beach and mountains in the background.

Your family fun awaits!

Start planning your next family vacation to the Whiteface Region! With so much to do, so many flavors to try, and so many places to rest and relax, you and your family will be counting the days until you can come back again!


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